What is an ombud in higher education?
The rules of procedure vary for each ombud as it depends on local legislation. But common is, that the ombud in higher education:
- Is a neutral person to whom students, staff, faculty and administrators can turn in an informal and confidential manner for help with complaints about their institution.
- Is resolving problems in an informal manner, primarily through mediation. Some academic ombuds are also entitled to launch an investigation into the complaint concluding with a formal decision.
- Should identify structural problems within the higher education institution and make recommendations to responsible authorities to prevent similar problems in the future or improve existing situation.
- Is positioned independently from the organisation’s management structure and has direct access to anyone.
- Do not act as advocates for individuals or a specific group of students, bud rather advocate fairness and righteousness.
- Is contributing to the quality assurance strand with the Bologna process. Ombuds in higher education have working relations with:
- Senates, councils, faculties, deans
- Admission offices
- Internations offices
- Student representatives
- Interest groups
Below you will find our map of Higher Education Ombudspersons i Europe: